Belgium's State bonds set 10-year record as consumers invest

Belgium's State bonds set 10-year record as consumers invest
Credit: Belga

Many Belgians have once again turned to the guaranteed and (practically) safe investment that state bonds offer. The March campaign raised €262.3 million for the public exchequor – the highest amount since December 2011, when then-Prime Minister Yves Leterme released a successful round of state bonds.

Of the €262.3 million raised in March, €217.9 million was for three-year bonds which provide an annual return of 2.60%. The remaining €44.4 million was generated by 10-year bonds, which bear an interest rate of 3.00% – considerably more than the February sale.

"It is clear that more and more people are opting for the safety and guaranteed yield of the State bond, especially at a time when the interest rate offered is rising," said Federal Finance Minister Vincent Van Peteghem.

State bonds, which are intended for private investors, used to be issued about four times a year, until low interest rates diminished their appeal for a while. People buying state bonds lend their money to the Federal Government for a number of agreed years. In exchange, the Government pays them an agreed interest each year. On the maturity date, the holder of the bonds is returned their capital.

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"The fact that we can speak of record returns since the popular Leterme state bonds (in 2011) shows that they are once again seen as a valued savings product," said Van Peteghem.

The March 2023 campaign was the fourth since bonds were resumed in June 2022. Last year, a total of €108.7 million was raised – an amount that will more than double this first campaign of 2023.

Citizens have also made greater use of the Federal Debt Agency website to manage their bonds via the General Ledger. This is 21.6% of the total number of registrations.

A more in-depth explanation of what State bonds are and how they work can be found here.

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